Dua Lipa, Elton John and Selena Gomez are among the attacking makers of the 2022 squad

Variety is pleased to announce the honorees at its sixth annual Hitmakers gala. The November 30 release and accompanying event takes a look back at the year of music and pays tribute to the writers, producers, publishers, managers and executives who helped make – and break – the year’s 25 most consumed songs, as measured by Luminate. The hitmakers culminate in an invitation-only brunch on Saturday, December 3rd.

TikTok, IHG, and Luminate are major partners in the event. With Variety, TikTok will present the Future Icon Award to newly nominated GRAMMY-nominated artist Omar Apollo, whose song Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All) went viral on the platform before hitting the charts and has accumulated nearly 1 billion views and more than 300k creates. TikTok provided a launching pad for many of the biggest hits of 2022 from Lizzo to Future by notable artists like Latto, Glass Animals, and Gayle. IHG is excited to be back at Hitmakers for a second year and you’ll have a great time with a handcrafted espresso bar and delicious brews. Gift “Guest Like Ours” with IHG branded mugs. Luminate Latto will be presented with the Breakthrough Artist award at the event.

DJ Cassidy, world-renowned maestro, DJ, Grammy-nominated producer and author/star of the groundbreaking series “Bass the Mike,” will host the event and deliver opening remarks.

The 2022 Hitmakers program includes the following awards, selected by the Variety editorial staff:

Elton John and Dua Lipa – Hitmakers of the Year Award: This double honor honors the stunning chart success of Elton John and Dua Lipa’s “Cold Heart-PNAU Remix,” released as the lead single from their collaborative album, “The Lockdown Sessions.” Being named Hitmakers of the Year also honors the incredible run they both had, between Dua’s many gold and platinum hits from her album “Future Nostalgia,” Elton’s mentorship to young artists, and of course his celebrated six-decade career. “Cold Heart”, a compilation of four songs from all of his EPs combined into one, perfectly symbolizes all of the above.

Selena Gomez – MOVIE SONG OF THE YEAR: This raw and intimate new song from Selena Gomez, “My Mind & Me,” accompanies the recently released documentary detailing her personal struggles with mental health. Released November 3, 2022, this poignant track drives her message to fans that it’s okay to not be okay.

“About Damn Time” by Lizzo – Record of the Year: It’s damn high time Lizzo got the recognition she deserves for this upbeat, energetic track that exploded the minute it hit the internet. Released as the lead single from her GRAMMY® nominated album “Special,” the record became Lizzo’s second #1 hit in the US, quickly going viral on TikTok with a famous dance performed by Lizzo herself on James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” series and in live performances.

lato – Breakthrough Artist Presented by Luminate: Following the success of her smash hit single “Big Energy,” which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, Latto cemented her place as one of the year’s top new artists. Variety celebrates her already impressive list of accomplishments including a Best New Artist win at the 2022 BET Awards and two GRAMMY® nominations.

future Collaborator Award: With his ninth studio album, “I Never Like You,” featuring appearances from music’s biggest names—Drake, Kodak Black, and Young Thug, among them—Future has established himself as an in-demand collaborator. “Wait For U”, featuring Drake and Tems, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and ends the year as the third most consumed song of 2022. Future has also been nominated for six GRAMMY® Awards.

imagine dragons – Group of the Year: Heavily recognized as one of the best rock acts of the past decade, Imagine Dragons prove their mettle yet again in 2022 with “Enemy,” featuring JID from the Arcane League of Legends series. The song is the latest single from the band’s massive KIDinaKORNER/Interscope album which included the songs “Believer”, “Radioactive”, and “Thunder”.

Apollo age – TikTok Future Icon Award: After being nominated for a GRAMMY® for Best New Artist, Omar Apollo is having his biggest year yet, mainly on TikTok where he has amassed half a million fans and over 13 million likes.

Kim Petras and Sam Smith – Innovators of the Year: With the release of the chart-topping single “Unholy” from Smith’s upcoming fourth studio album Gloria, the song quickly jumped to the top of the charts and became Smith’s second UK No. 1 hit to date. The duo became the first openly trans and non-binary artists in Billboard Hot 100 history to have a #1 hit.

Kara DioGuardi – A&R AWARD: Songwriter, CEO, and co-founder of Arthouse Publishing/Records and Bridge Kara DioGuardi takes home Variety’s A&R Award for her career successes spanning two decades for Bruno Mars, Eminem, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Halsey, Christina Aguilera, Chloe x Halle, Camila Cabello, Carrie Underwood, Jason Derulo, Florida Georgia Line and her latest find, GAYLE, whose 2022 “abcdefu” was #15 and nominated for Song of the Year at the GRAMMY® Awards.

Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson – Songbook of the Year: The worldwide phenomenon of Harry Styles’ GRAMMY®-nominated “Harry’s House” is largely thanks to the brilliant writing of Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson. The duo lent their songwriting skills to the #1 hit of 2022, “As It Was” and have previously written with artists like Lizzo, Shakira, and Shawn Mendes.

Jesse Collins, CEO, Jesse Collins Entertainment – EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR: Entertainment industry veteran and nominee Jesse Collins, founder and CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment, has been instrumental in producing many of musical entertainment’s most memorable television moments from the critically acclaimed biopic, “The New Edition Story” to the limited TV series “The Bobby Brown Story” to award-winning shows including the BET Awards, BET Honors, Love & Happiness: Obama’s Farewell, and the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Atlantic Records – RATING OF THE YEAR: With a string of multi-format and cross-platform hits – including Jack Harlow’s “First Class”, Ed Sheeran’s “Shivers”, GAYLE’s “abcdefu”, Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” and “Super Gremlin” By Kodak Black, Atlantic artists owned the consumption charts for most of 2022 via streaming and TikTok. As the label looks forward to its 75th anniversary in 2023, Variety honors Atlantic Music

Group Chairman and CEO Julie Greenwald and Atlantic Records Chairman and CEO Craig Kallman along with the company’s staff.

Dua Lipa, Elton John, Future, Lizzo, and Selena Gomez are among Variety’s 2022 makeovers; Annual Luncheon Honoring the Best in Music x – Manager of the Year: In less than a decade, Ebonie Ward, co-owner of Emagen Entertainment Group, has worked her way from outside the music industry to manager of award-winning rappers and producers including Future, Gunna and Flo Milli, as well as artist and photographer Hidji World, Spike Jordan from The Genius Club, GRAMMY® nominated Super Producer Turbo and his group of Toymakers.

Ricky Reid Producer of the Year: With hits from a variety of artists including Lizzo, Halsey, The Weeknd, Camila Cabello, Jon Batiste, Leon Bridges, Twenty One Pilots, SZA, Maren Morris, Maggie Rogers, Maroon 5, Bomba Estereo, and many more Of that, two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Ricky Reed has been one of the most successful collaborators around for the past 15 years.

“Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush – SYNC OF THE YEAR: Some 37 years after its original release, “Running Up That Hill” has hit the charts thanks to a prime placement in season 4 of Netflix’s Stranger Things that turned into a TikTok sensation and introduced a generation to Kate Bush’s timeless talent. The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and closed the year as the twelfth most-consumed song of 2022. Also recognized in the Hitmakers issue is Sony Music Publishing’s Amy Coles, Variety’s Hitbreaker of the Year, who received a syncopation.

“Variety’s Hitmakers edition is a celebration of those who played a hands-on role in making and breaking the biggest hits of 2022,” said Shirley Halperin, Variety’s executive editor, Music. “Many of our past honored artists have gone on to win Academy Awards and GRAMMY® awards, while CEOs recognized as hitmakers have seen promotions and industry accolades. We look forward to celebrating this year in music with the people responsible for bringing you the records we all know and love.”

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